(UnitedVoice.com) – Forgiving as much student loan debt as possible is one of President Joe Biden’s biggest policy goals. It’s also one of the ways progressives think they can convince more people to vote for the 81-year-old president. Recently, the administration announced it was forgiving billions of dollars more in debt.
On December 6, the Department of Education announced it was forgiving an additional $4.8 billion in student loan debt. The forgiveness will impact more than 80,000 borrowers and stems from the Public Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) and income-driven repayment (IDR) forgiveness programs. The latest round of forgiveness brings the total to almost $132 billion for 3.6 million Americans.
According to the administration, $2.2 billion of the latest round of forgiveness impacted approximately 46,000 through the IDR reforms. That brought the total of IDR relief to nearly $4 billion for more than 900,000 borrowers. The other $2.6 billion was forgiven through the PSLF program and impacted 34,400 borrowers. The total amount of PSLF relief is now $53.3 billion for nearly 750,000 people.
The administration has also forgiven $11.7 billion in loan forgiveness for 513,000 borrowers who have a total and permanent disability. Another 1.3 million borrowers whose schools cheated them received about $22.5 billion in forgiveness.
House Votes to Block Loan Forgiveness
On December 7, the House of Representatives voted to block the implementation of the IDR program, named the SAVE plan. The joint resolution passed the lower chamber with a vote of 210-189.
The joint resolution is under the Congressional Review Act and disapproves of the rule that uses family size and income to calculate how much borrowers should have to repay, rather than the size of the loan. The plan allows people who make less than $15 per hour to bring their loan payments down to $0.
The Senate voted on a companion resolution before Thanksgiving but rejected the measure by 49-50. Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) was not there for the vote, but it wouldn’t have mattered because Vice President Kamala Harris has the tiebreaking vote. Even if it did pass, President Joe Biden opposes the measure and would veto it if it made it to his desk for his signature.
Rep. Lisa McClain (R-MI) spoke on the House floor ahead of the vote and said the SAVE plan is “the most expensive regulation in our nation’s history.” She called it a “backdoor attempt to ram the [president’s] socialist free college fantasy down the throats of hardworking taxpayers.”
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